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State to Consider New Rules for School Start Date

Updated: Saturday, August 3 2013, 01:14 PM CDT

Eastern Iowa students will be heading back to class in just a couple weeks, but some say that's too early.
That's why the state board of education is looking at a new rule to decide when schools can start.

Hallways at Linn-Mar High School are empty and quiet but come August 19, they'll be filled with students.

There's a new rule that could change how early kids will head to class in years to come.

"We all share the same goal in maximizing learning for Iowa students but I'm not sure that but I'm not sure that the proposed changes to the processes align with that goal,” said Linn-Mar Community Schools deputy superintendent, Dirk Halupnik.

Right now, there is a rule in place that doesn't allow school to start until the first week of September, many schools ask for a waiver to get a jump start.

"We look at academic learning units of time in developing our school calendar. Our start time, our end time our break time,” Halupnik said.

But under the proposed new rule schools would have to work harder to get those waivers.

School districts would have to prove academic or financial hardships to start earlier.

Some in the tourism industry are all for a longer summer.

"Research has always considered being the number one family vacation tourism month as the month of August,” said Iowa City and Coralville Convention Visitors Bureau president Joshua Schamberger.

Schamberger says as a parent august start dates cut into family vacation time.

It also takes away student workforce at tourism locations.

"For my kids it would be great for me to know that Labor Day weekend or somewhere around there is the date that they go back to school,” he said.

The state board of education will hold a hearing tomorrow and a public hearing is set for September 10th.

The changes would not affect this school year.

State to Consider New Rules for School Start Date

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